Editorial

It Lives

cupola

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last made a posting here. The first rule of blogging - make sure you update your blog regularly. Whoops!

I’ve been busy. Very busy. Very, very busy. It has been the busiest period at work that I can remember in my 20 year career to date. Lots of long stressful days. Now, everyone has that from time to time, but it has been week after week of it and still several weeks to go I think.

As I write I’ve still not had a week off from work yet this year. And it’s June… Very nearly half way through the year, so I’m going to have my whole year’s allocation of holiday time to fit into just half of the year. I guess that should mean a good second half to the year - certainly should be better than the first!

Amid all this frantic activity I have managed to pull in some fun. A couple of days spent with friends and a few visits to places I like. This has helped to keep me sane.

My walking commute has taken a bit of a hit during this busy period. I’ve been working long hours and I’m both mentally and physically exhausted. As a consequence I’ve only been managing maybe one day walking to work in a week. I am still losing my bulk though! I’ve lost a further two inches from my waist making it a grand total of six inches gone since I started walking. I feel good about that, but nervous that I might start to slip back unless I can get back to my normal three or four days walking per week. I was really hoping that by now I’d be walking it every day. Ah well.

The photo at the top of this post was taken during a visit to Bolsover Castle a couple of weeks ago. It was a dark and wet day, but I had been working like a mad thing and I just needed to get out of the house, on my own, with my camera. I had to force myself to go, but I’m so glad I did. I had such a blast and it really helped me to unwind.

I will make an effort to get back to regular postings here again, but that all depends on me having something to say more than ‘really rough day at work today’.


Technorati Tags: ,

Editorial
Personal

Comments (4)

Permalink

A little further down the road

Okay, it has been a while.

A few things have kept me away from my blog. One of these was my Windows machine finally deciding to croak. The only real problem with this was that I was still using it for editing my photos in Photoshop CS2!

Earlier in the year when I first got my Mac Mini I did a few comparisons. I ran the demo of the Mac version of CS2, which isn’t Intel native. Adobe have stated that Photoshop will not be native for Intel Macs until CS3 sometime in 2007. I also tried out Parallels Desktop, a virtual PC solution for Intel Macs, and Boot Camp - the official Apple method of booting an Intel Mac into Windows.

I was used to fairly snappy CS2 performance on my Windows PC, and although the Mac version was usable running under Rosetta (the PowerPC emulation layer employed by Apple to maintain backwards compatibility), well, I couldn’t see much point when I could carry on running it on my PC.

Boot Camp ran the Windows version of CS2 wonderfully. No complaints there. However it is a pain having to reboot from one OS to another and back again every time you want to do a bit of photo work. There was also the issue of having to ‘sacrifice’ quite a large chunk of my Mac Mini’s somewhat limited hard drive space for a Windows partition. This would have to be a fairly large partition to store my photos. I would be able to access the Windows partition from OS X, but I couldn’t access the OS X partition from Windows without purchasing more software. So, although CS2 ran very well - I decided it was too much of a pain.

Parallels looked very promising. I could just start up a Windows PC from within OS X and switch between the operating systems pretty smoothly. However impressed I was, I decided that as I would have to spend money on Parallels and I already had a real Windows PC sat under my desk, I might as well just carry on using it. So I did.

Meanwhile Parallels came out of Beta and the cost of registering the software went up quite a bit.

And then my Windows box died.

I spoke to Adobe about transferring my Windows CS2 license to Mac. Quite easy to do, just send them the invoices / receipts and license codes, along with a cheque for £6 to cover shipping. However, it would mean that I could no longer run Photoshop on my Windows laptop. Their license lets you install Photoshop on up to 2 machines, as long as they aren’t being used simultaneously. There was also the performance issue to be considered, it really felt quite laggy to me under Rosetta, especially after the performance I was used to from my defunct Windows machine.

So, maybe I could just carry on using CS2 on my Windows laptop? Humm, yes, but Linda and Shelly both use that laptop a lot and it would be a pain to either have to stop them from using it or waiting until nobody was using it.

So, back to Parallels Desktop.

It really looked to be the best option. Photoshop ran faster under Parallels than the Mac version did with Rosetta. I could keep all my photos in the Mac file structure and reference them from Windows on the virtual machine via Parallels’ ‘shared folders’ feature, or via normal Windows networking. I could boot into Windows and do a bit of photo work without having to shut down OS X and I could carry on having CS2 installed on the laptop!

So that’s the way I went. It did mean a bit of financial outlay on registering Parallels but I think it’s a good investment. In addition to letting me run CS2 under Windows XP it lets me easily play around with other operating systems with great ease. I’ve had OS/2 Warp 3 running on it, I’ve had various flavours of Linux running on it - and when I get bored I can just zap the virtual machine.

Another bonus of all of this was that I was able to start clearing away all my old PC kit. It took up a lot of room compared to the Mac Mini - well, so do most things I guess! I’ve got a neater, tidier, quieter and just plain nicer environment to work in now. I have space on my desk - yes, I can actually see the wood in places.

So, to bring this rather lengthy post to a conclusion - I’m even more impressed than ever with my Mac Mini. Such a great little box. I can’t recommend them highly enough!

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Editorial
Mac
Switching
Personal

Comments (0)

Permalink

Information Superhighway?

Well, it proved to be very difficult to get a reliable connection while we were in Northumberland. Just 6 miles north of Morpeth and we might as well have been in the middle of nowhere as far as my 3G/GPRS card was concerned. I knew I wouldn’t stand a chance of a 3G connection, but even GPRS was so flakey it wasn’t usable. Some nights I was trying to get a connection for over an hour and I just decided that it wasn’t worth the trouble.

So, I’m going to try and give some kind of day by day account now that we’re back home, and I have a reliable internet connection.

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Editorial
Personal

Comments (2)

Permalink

Sunday

Our first full day in Northumberland dawned wet. Just our luck. We’d had a few weeks of good weather before leaving home. But I’m determined not to let clouds and rain spoil our break.

We spent the morning just taking it easy at the cottage and then getting supplies in.

After lunch we headed out to explore the area immediately around us. We were keen for Shelly to get her first look at the sea so we headed towards the coast and found ourselves at Amble. Parking up near the dunes we put our coats on and set off for a walk along the beach.

Although it wasn’t actually raining now, it was still threatening to. Even though it was hardly ideal conditions, we couldn’t have Shelly not taking a paddle during her first trip to a beach. So, the shoes and socks came off and the trousers were rolled up and much fun was had splashing about in the little waves that brushed up on to the sand.

If the weather does improve at some point during the week then we’ll certainly be back to the sea to give Shelly the chance to try out her sandcastle skills.

Technorati Tags:

Editorial
Personal

Comments (0)

Permalink

Baa

This is going to be home for the next week. It’s very spacious and as we’re just in the grounds of a farm it’s very quiet. All we can hear are the sheep and the birds. There’s lots of room for Shelly to run around and a nice big garden for playing football in.

Right outside our windows are views of fields full of sheep, woodland and the Cheviot hills on the horizon.

A pictorial representation of the predominant sound around here!

It is proving very difficult to get online here, the signal is very weak. I attempted to upload these photos last night but then lost the link. I’m just hoping that I can get back online at some point soon to post these. It could be that even if I can get these uploaded I won’t be able to get online again. If that’s the case then I guess it’s just going to be one big update once we get home!

Technorati Tags:

Editorial
Personal

Comments (0)

Permalink

A holiday, a holiday and the first one in four years!

Yes, we’re away on holiday for a week. We not long ago arrived at our cottage in Northumberland and after checking that I could get online I thought I’d just post something here. I’ll be back later to post some photographs.

It has been a long time since we’ve been away and I’m so looking forward to this week, exploring a corner of the country I’ve never visited before. Hadrian’s Wall is calling….

Technorati Tags:

Editorial
Personal

Comments (0)

Permalink

Okay, a change of tack

Well, I’ve been happily getting on using my Mac for several weeks without feeling a need to post anything here.

I guess the point is that it just works, and it does a great job. I’m finally free of the all the hassles I used to suffer running Windows.

Well, just about.

I’m still using Windows for running Photoshop, and it looks like I will be until Photoshop CS3 is released. Yes, CS2 does run under Rosetta on the Intel Mac, but I just find it too sluggish to be comfortable with it. It is a pain having to switch machines just to edit photos, so come on Adobe, get a crack on with CS3 please.

So, what am I going to do with this blog? It started out as a Windows to Mac switchers blog, but I just don’t see any point in continuing in that vein. So, it’s going to become just a personal blog. From time to time I’m sure I’ll cover some tech. issues, but there’ll be other things on here too.

Editorial
Mac
Switching

Comments (0)

Permalink

A picture tells a thousand words

Okay, looking back over the last few postings something is obvious to me.

I need more pictures in here!

Too much solid text. I’ll get that fixed going forwards and see if I can put a few more in previous posts also.

Editorial

Comments (0)

Permalink

What’s it all about?

I’ve had various web pages online for very nearly 10 years now (main presence being Prehistoric.org.uk), yet this is my first ‘blog’. So why am I doing this?

  • Well, I was curious about ‘blogs’, I have to confess that I never really saw the point until just now.

  • I have recently made ‘The Switch’ from using Windows to using a Mac and I felt I had things to say about the experience.
  • I realised that there were all kinds of things that I might want to write about - mainly revolving around technology and photography and I wanted a quick and easy way to get it all online.

So yeah, I guess quite a bit of this blog (at least initially) is going to be a ‘Switcher Blog’, but I hope to move into lots of other things as time progresses.

Editorial

Comments (2)

Permalink